Evart receives $433,000 grant to improve water systems

LANSING — The city of Evart received $433,000 in grant funding as part of a pilot program to improve water supply system infrastructure and help protect water quality, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) said in a press release issued Thursday.

Evart was one of 18 communities across the state to receive a total of $9.5 million in funding from the MDEQ Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Division (DWMAD), the release noted.

“A mix of small, medium and large communities, 18 in total, located throughout the state were invited to apply for funding. The status of their asset management plan, the number of service connections and lead service lines, childhood blood lead levels and their ability to quickly execute pilot funds were some of the selection factors,” the release noted. “The DWMAD reviewed the proposals from all candidates based on the merit of their proposals and awarded up to $1 million to each candidate.

“Communities were awarded the requested amount of funding for their asset management plan updates up to a maximum of $250,000. Funds to remove lead service lines were allocated based on population size to maximize the impact of lead removal. Communities with populations greater than 100,000 received the maximum amount of grant funding of $1 million.”

Winners of $1-million grants included Detroit, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. Saginaw received $963,000, Muskegon $600,000, Owosso $508,000 and Battle Creek $500,000.

Municipalities can use the funding to support improvements such as updating material inventories of the types of service lines present in the system, updating their asset management plan or for full lead service line replacement. Updates to asset management plans and the distribution system material inventories were given priority, the release noted.
“The intent is for communities to complete most of the work by the end of the construction season in order to quickly demonstrate efficacy of the program,” the MDEQ said.

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